June 2021 Winner: Hunter Story

This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Hunter Story, an 18-year-old trumpeter who graduated from Woodford County High School in Woodford County, Kentucky and is now majoring in Music Education at Eastern Kentucky University. While in high school, Hunter was actively involved in her high school’s band program in addition to pursuing several performance opportunities outside of school. She performed in her high school’s wind ensemble, symphonic band, and was active in the marching band all four years, serving as the drum major for her junior and senior year. She also performed principal trumpet in the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra for two years, the Central Kentucky Jazz Orchestra for one year, and Asbury University Salvation Army Brass band for two years. She participated in the All State Symphonic Band for two years and in the Kentucky School for the Arts in 2019. Additionally she performed as a member of Buglers Across America.

Hunter started playing trumpet in the 6th grade and credits a lot of her success in music to the support of her private teacher, Dr. Rich Byrd, and her high school band directors Michael and Kelsey Collins. She began studying with Dr. Byrd after he heard her perform at a Solo and Ensemble contest and she feels very grateful for his support and guidance. The unwavering support of her band directors not only helped her during times when she felt discouraged but it also helped inspire her career goals. Hunter is interested in teaching elementary music and high school band because she really wants to be involved in the lives of young students helping them they way her teachers help her.

In addition to performing trumpet, she enjoys collecting vinyl records, singing, and experiencing the beauty of the great outdoors. She has sung in several choral groups and a cappella groups. Some of her favorite pastimes are gardening with her grandmother and hiking in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge and Raven Run. Some of her favorite professional trumpeters include Wynton Marsalis, Alison Balsom, and Vince DiMartino. As the June 2021 ITG Young Artist Award recipient she will receive a one-year complimentary membership to ITG! Congratulations Hunter!

March 2021 Winner: Elsie DiLisio

This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Elsie DiLisio, a 18-year-old trumpeter who recently graduated from Monument Mountain Regional high school in Great Barrington Massachusetts and began her undergraduate degree in trumpet performance at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music on a full scholarship in Fall 2020. While in high school, Elsie actively participated in All County and All State competitions making the Senior Districts throughout high school and All State during the 2018-2019 school year. In addition to performing in her high school program, she performed in the Empire State Youth Orchestra and its Brass Quintet during her sophomore and junior years of high school. In 2019 Elsie also performed the first movement of the Hummel Trumpet concerto with the Stockbridge Symphonia and Bride of the Waves with the Eagles band a community band based in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. She participated in the 2018 and 2020 Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the 2019 Eastman Summer Trumpet Institute and during the 2019-2020 school year she studied with Ray Mase as a member of the Juilliard Pre-College program. Elsie was also selected as a semi-finalist in the 2020 National Trumpet Competition’s high school division.

In addition to being passionate about trumpet, Elsie enjoys a very active lifestyle. While in high school she competed as the captain of her Cross Country team, skied on her high school’s Alpine Ski Team and she actively pursues a Cross Fit regimen. Elsie also takes her academics very seriously which resulted in her becoming a member of the National Honor Society and earning several scholarships such as the the Blum Memorial Scholarship, Great Barrington Rotary Club Scholarship, Great Barrington Police Association Scholarship, and the Jed Blackwell Memorial Scholarship. She also enjoyed participating in her high school’s Mock Trial team and as a member of the student government.

Some of Elsie’s favorite trumpeters include Alison Balsom, Tine Thing Helseth and Wynton Marsalis whom she was thrilled to meet while studying at Tanglewood. She is also very thankful for the fine trumpet instruction that she received from her private trumpet teachers: Ray Mase, Eric Berlin and Paul Sundberg. She also credits her middle school band director who inspired her both due to the strong band program that they built but specifically because of the strength and comradery of the trumpet section who remained close all through school. Elsie hopes to pursue a career as a trumpet performer and educator, performing in an orchestra and teaching at a university. As the March 2021 Young Artist Award recipient, she will receive a one-year complimentary membership to ITG. Congratulations Elsie!

January 2021 Winner: Fiona Shonik

This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Fiona Shonik, a 18-year-old trumpeter who recently graduated from North Shore High School in Long Island, New York and will begin her undergraduate degrees in music education and trumpet performance at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music in Fall 2020. Fiona was principal trumpet in several groups including the Long Island Youth Orchestra, Nassau Suffolk Performing Arts Wind Symphony and the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra’s Nassau Principal Orchestra. Fiona was also selected to play in numerous state-wide and national groups for the past eight years. Highlights include performing co-principal in the New York All State Symphonic Band in 2018, performing in the All-Eastern Music Festival Concert band and playing principal in the NAfME All-National Concert Band in 2019. She was selected to play first trumpet in the 2020 NY State Band Directors Association High School Honor Concert band and principal trumpet in the 2019 and 2020 NMEA All-County Music Festival Orchestras as well.

An active member in her high school’s music program, Fiona performed in the North Shore H.S. wind symphony, jazz ensemble, pep band, pit orchestra, brass ensemble, and chamber orchestra. During her senior year she served as the President of Band and Vice President of the Tri-M Music Honors Society. During the past three summers, Fiona took part in the School of Orchestral Studies program as part of the New York State Summer Schools for the Arts where she worked closely with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, including trumpeter Robert Earley. Both a serious musician and student, Fiona thrived in a rigorous academic environment, taking advantage of her school’s International Baccalaureate program.

Some of her favorite trumpeters include Chris Martin, Wynton Marsalis, Tine Thing Helseth, Alison Balsom and Mary Bowden. In terms of career goals, she has many different interests within the classical music field such as performing and arts administration. She would like to help contribute to greater diversity and equality for minorities in the classical music world. This desire is linked to her experience as one of the only women trumpeters in her ensembles and as one of the only women during her thirteen years of playing competitive ice hockey and roller hockey. As she puts it: “I think it is important to encourage people to follow their passions even if it is considered to be outside the norm.”  Fiona’s primary trumpet teacher for the past five years is Michael Blutman who she credits with helping her grow tremendously as both a musician and a person. Congratulations Fiona!

October 2020 Winner: James McAffrey

This issue’s featured young artist award winner is James McAffrey, a 17-year-old trumpeter who lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. James has been homeschooled his entire life and began playing cornet as a 9 year old in the Oklahoma Homeschool Bands. Since then he has become quite the active performer playing in many groups. His first trumpet teacher was Lauren Fletcher whom he studied with for four years and he is now a student of Professor Michael Anderson. Beginning in 8th grade, James has performed with the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras program where he is now the principal trumpet of their top orchestra. Previously he performed as part of their philharmonic and wind ensembles. During the past year, while still a junior in high school, he is also enrolled in the Oklahoma City University trumpet studio auditioning and placing into several of their top groups including their wind ensemble and now their orchestra under the direction of Professor Jeffrey Grogan. James has been selected three times to attend the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain where he was able to perform in an orchestra and be coached by Dr. Chris Wilson. This summer, he won a spot in the National Youth Orchestra 2 which will take place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to his ensemble experience, James is an accomplished competitor. He has twice been a semi-finalist in the National Trumpet Competition, in 2018 and 2020, and was also a finalist at the 2018 International Trumpet Guild’s Youth Competition, Junior Division where he won a scholarship to attend the conference. James was selected as the Oklahoma City Symphonic Band 2020 Young Artist Competition winner with Slavische Fantasie by Carl Hohne and also won first place in the Oklahoma City Orchestra League Carver Competition Brass Division in March of 2019.

Not only does James enjoy performing trumpet but he is also a competitive rock climber. He currently competes as a member of Team Texas out of Norman, OK, recently qualifying for Divisionals. He has won several rock climbing competitions in Missouri, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. James feels that his rock climbing and trumpet playing compliment each other in that they both require a high degree of focus. He is incredibly grateful to his family for the amount of support they have offered him through his pursuit of music as he knows he would not be able to do it without them. A huge fan of orchestral trumpet playing, some of his favorite trumpet players include Chris Martin, Phil Smith, Tom Rolfs, Tom Hooten, Bud Herseth, Barbara Butler and Charlie Geyer. His dream is to pursue a degree in trumpet performance and to perform in a professional orchestra one day. Congratulations James!


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